Life, like racing is full of ups and downs. Some times it feels like we are on a roller coaster and we just want the ride to stop. We are looking for that one thing that will satisfy us, make our life complete, but is always eludes our grasp. There is a solution to filling that need for satisfaction and fulfillment. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
You head to the track full of anticipation. You worked all week on the car and you know it is right. Your expectation is for a great race and a win. You unload and your practice times are among the fastest. Your excitement builds. You qualify on the pole and take the green flag first. Then it happens, they call it racing. It is the reason we run the race. You make a mistake in judgment and your night ends, up against the wall. From the penthouse to the outhouse, what a ride.
I have sat with many drivers and listened, sometimes to silence, disbelief. “It just doesn’t make sense, we were so good tonight, we should have won this race.” You’ve heard it before and you will hear it again, racing isn’t always fair, the fastest car doesn’t always win. How do we deal with the disappointment? How do we deal with our shortcomings?
We are often asked to pray for good results. Some think that our prayers determine the outcome of the race. Some people attend chapel thinking that God will be on their side because they came. That is not the way God works; He is not a good luck charm. God loves each of us the same and doesn’t play favorites among His children. When we attend chapel it is to help us move closer to God. When we pray we ask God to watch over us and guide us.
God’s plan for our life is most times very different from what we think He should do. God’s desire is for us to live a fulfilling, satisfying and joyful life. God desires our life to be full. God promises us a calming peace in our spirit. He will provide all that and more for those who acknowledge Him as Lord. Romans tells us…
Romans 8:28; And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
God works through the circumstances in our life for the good for those who love Him. What is your attitude toward God? Do you view Him as genie in a bottle ready to grant you three wishes? Is God just someone you go to when you don’t have any other option? Or is God the one you live your life for. Is God the one you seek to please? Is God the one whose advice you seek before you decide?
Our attitude toward God and the place He has in our lives determines how we will deal with the ups and downs of life. When we place our trust and faith in God through Jesus our life changes, it heads in a different direction. We no longer have to concern ourselves with what is going to happen. We have placed God in charge of our life. Our task goes from the one making all the decisions to one who is following God’s lead. Proverbs puts it this way…
Proverbs 3:5-6; Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
When Jesus talked to his disciples in the Sermon on the Mount he said to them…
Matthew 7:31-34; So do not worry, saying, `What shall we eat?’ or `What shall we drink?’ or `What shall we wear? For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Jesus helps us understand that God knows what we need and will provide it. We need to seek His kingdom first and our needs will be met. We have the choice. We can go through life getting tossed back and forth by the circumstances we face or we can let God handle them. I know from experience that when I let God figure things out the results are much better, better than I could even imagine. Let me share with you one such event.
I was helping lead a conference for some youth and felt very inadequate for the task. In my own mind there was no way I could do what was required. I made up my mind, I was going to quit. I approached the leader of the event to tell him I couldn’t continue. Before I could say anything he thanked me. I asked, for what? He said one of the young people came up to him and explained that she had just accepted Christ into their life as her Savior. When asked why she pointed to me. To this day I do not know what I said or did that made that young lady accept Christ, but God does, it was His plan all along.
God has provisions for us that we do not see. God has plans for us that we do not even understand. If we want to even out the bumps in our life, let God do it. There will still be mountains to climb and valleys to walk through but when God walks along with us the outcome is different. Trust in Him and He will prove to be true.
THOUGHTS FROM THE ROAD
AN INSTANT CLASSIC IN THE HILLS OF TENNESSEE- Last year the race at Bristol was exciting because it was the first one. This year it was exciting because we saw what we have been accustomed to seeing, side by side, three wide, lead changing action. The comment that was relayed to me from someone in the stands, “I just saw the best race I have ever seen at Bristol.” I don’t know if it is an exact quote but I am sure it conveys the point. The Whelen Modified Tour now has another venue where they can display the racing we have come to know and love in front of the national racing media spotlight. I fully expect to see some of the cup teams showing up a day early to take in the Mod race at Bristol.
Whelen Whacker, Ryan Newman, won the race but the team is not without a Modified connection or two. Bono, crew chief and owner of the 7ny is from Long Island and choose the number to honor the late Tom Baldwin Sr. Tiger Tom’s memory was on the hearts of many as we remember him and his family on the anniversary of that fateful day.
A few surprises saw the track record fall during practice as James Civali posted a new standard for all those who compete at Bristol to shoot for. Rookie Justin Bonsignore recoded fast time in qualifying, putting it on the pole with his first ever pole award. Two cautions for minor spins and a competition caution at the halfway mark were the only things that slowed down the action.
I found myself turning around in circles watching all the action; it was great to be a part of the event. We did however find time to head down the road for some BBQ. Someone told us about a place called Ridgewood, we’ll be going back there. There is a great picture on Bristol Motor Speedway’s facebook page showing the national anthem for the modified race, check it out.
SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE VALLEY- Rev. Dan here, just home from Bristol and looking for a race to go to, how is everyone doing? I decided to head up to Lebanon Valley Speedway to check out the dirt Modifieds – actually, I had other motives as I wanted to visit with Ed Harkins, the Finish Line Chaplain, to talk about plans for Super Dirt Week in Syracuse. I bought up with me a close friend and Christian brother Rob Connick who has never been to a race before. I love bringing someone new to the races just to see their faces when the cars hit the track. It looks like we made a new race fan as Rob was amazed at how fast the big blocks were and how hard they threw the cars into the turns. I had a lot of great conversations with some great people.
If you want to go see some exciting races, eat delicious track food and talk to some great people, Lebanon Valley is for you. I would like to say a special thank you to the gentleman at the sign in booth for the pit area, who is a faithful reader of AARN and this column, for your hospitality. May God bless you and your family. Some of the plans for Syracuse I discussed with Ed are to have a short devotion each morning in the pit area ending the week with a Chapel Service on Sunday morning before the big race. If you are up there that week, you are more than welcome to join us. Congratulations to Andy Bachetti who held off a hard charging Brett Hearn to take the win at the Valley on Saturday night.
ANOTHER BUSY WEEK- With the K&N Pro Series at Gresham Motorsports Park, outside of Atlanta, the MRS at Thompson and the ECI Night of Electricity at Waterford Speedbowl we will be covering a lot of territory, please keep out travel in your prayers.
Be a witness for our Lord with the ministry decals and apparel. See them at the Show Your Faith Apparel Store at www.rwjm.com. Send us your prayer and counseling needs no matter what part of our racing family you are in, or give us a call. Until next time, remember that God loves you, we love you and
Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing. GOD BLESS.
Mail reaches us at Racing with Jesus Ministries, PO Box 586, Tolland, CT 06084. Check our weekly printed pages in “Area Auto Racing News”, the East Coast’s largest weekly racing paper” Check our home page www.rwjm.com for past articles. Drop us a note and share your input and thoughts. Please remember, we can only do what we do because of your prayerful financial support.
Numbers 6:24-26 “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”
May God always Bless you, everyday in everyway. Rev. Don
TOM & SUE FEARN- The Feeding Hills, MA ProStock championship and Latemodel driver and wife have their 13th anniversary.
JOE AND KAREN CIVALI- Parents of WMT driver James and JGR spotter Joey celebrate thier 31st.
BOB & LISA CLASETTA- This Vernon, CT auto racing industry Sales Rep. and wife have their 38th anniversary.
RICK & LIND RODENBAUGH- This NASCAR WMT couple, she with the Jake Morose Team and he Co-Crew Chief for Wade Cole share their 8th.
LARRY SHIVERS JR.- Brother to former WMT driver Gregg.
KYLE PURKS- Langhorne, PA 358 and URC Sprint driver.
JEFF PEARL- Colchester, CT Waterford Speedbowl based CT Modified driver.
RODNEY COMBS, JR.- Fort Wayne, KY dirt LM and CWTS driver.
PETE PERNESIGLIO- Riverhead Raceway Blunderbust driver.
RAY EVERNHAM- From Hazlet, NJ, he learned it all in NASCAR Modified driving and has put it to excellent use.
BARNEY McRAE- Colchester, VT NASCAR KNPSE team owner/crew chief and former driver.
NICOLE TRACY- This lady from Danbury, CT drives a dirt Sportsman Modified at Accord Speedway in New York.
DAVE SILVIA- Seekonk Speedway Sportsman driver.
CHRIS DUSSEAULT- Wife of Somersworth, NH Marc Motorsports former NASCAR KNPSE team owner “Deuce.”
KAITLYN DILLNER- The daughter of Long Island native SPEED personality Bobby and wife Meredith is 12.
MARIO “SPEEDY” TOMAINO- Giants NFL fan and proud dad of Howell,NJ NASCAR WMT driver and RWJM Rep. Jamie.
MIKE MORTIMER- “Mighty Mike” drives the LM 14 at Riverhead Raceway.
JOHN MINE- Wall township Speedway driver.
JIMMY BAKER- Crew Chief for the Junior Miller driven Whelen Southern Modified.
MICHAEL JAWORECKI- “JAWS” to some, our Long Island connection with a new photo assignment. Mike asks us to remember and support research for the treatment and cure of Autism, Autism Speaks!
KRIS SMITH- Husband of former NHIS media room attendant and chocolate chip cookie lover Stephanie.
RANDY LaJOIE- Norwalk, CT born two time NNS champ, currently concentrating on selling his excellent race car seats.
KELLEY KING EARNHARDT- Grown-up daughter of the late Dale Earnhardt.
MARK FLEURY- NY DIRT Modified driver.
MICHAEL JAWORECKI JR.- “JAWS Jr.” Son of Jaws! a familiar fixture by his dad’s side at the racetrack enjoys his 14 lap.
KEVIN ECKERT- Allentown, PA based Sprint/Midget writer.
AUSTIN MARIE BRUNO- This little lady is the first child of Bomoseen, VT ACT/ KNPSE driver Mike and wife Alayne and turns 9.
JERRY SOLOMITO- Riverhead Modified driver.
JOHN HEWITT- DIRT Modified driver.
GARY MOORE- Horseshoe, NC driver/owner.
HOWIE HODGE- Well liked and respected photographer from Manchester, CT.
SHARE YOUR SPECIAL OCCASIONS WITH YOUR RACING FAMILY. SEND THEM TO RACING WITH JESUS MINISTRIES AT PO BOX 586, Tolland, CT, 06084.
Sources: Rev. Don Rivers/RWJM